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X-Ray Diffraction

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Last updated date: 17th Jul 2024
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What is X-Ray Diffraction?

X-ray diffraction is a non-destructive solid technique for delineating crystalline materials. It gives information on phases, structures, favored crystal orientations (texture), and different structural parameters, such as strain, crystallinity, medium grain size, and crystal cracks. XRD peaks are designed by the constructive intervention of a monochromatic beam of X-rays interspersed at distinct angles from each collection of lattice planes in a specimen. The peak intensities are defined by the atomic positions inside the lattice planes. 

Consequently, the XRD design is the fingerprint of periodic atomic methods in a dispensed material. A standard database of online research for X-ray powder diffraction patterns allows quick phase identification for a wide variety of crystalline samples. X-ray diffraction results from radiation being scattered by a regular array of scattering centers whose spacing is the same as the radiation. Diffraction gratings need to have spacings equivalent to the wavelength of diffracted radiation.

These are not merely two paragraphs based on the explanation of X-Ray Diffraction, but these are the total efforts of Vedantu physical specialists to offer the best clarity of the topic to the students. Knowing the fact that physics demands a bit more time in comprehension and introducing new concepts is a bit challenging, Vedantu’s subject matter experts refer to the matter from the most authentic sources. So much focus is given on the explanation because once the explanation is clear in the mind, then it will be a breeze to grasp associated topics like types, processes, applications, and more. 

X-Ray Diffraction Analysis

X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) is a method used in materials science to determine the material’s crystallographic structure. XRD operates by measuring the X-rays’ intensities and scattering angles that leave the material.

The primary use of X-ray diffraction analysis is the identification of materials based on their diffraction pattern. The x-ray diffraction method in phase identification also gives information on how the ideal structure differs from the exact one, owing to internal defects and stresses.

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Vedantu has shared the analysis in the simplest language as after the definition it is going to be a scoring topic. To enhance the level of comprehension, the tutors opt for a real-time session for explaining analysis as once we discuss something thoroughly while reading it, then we are likely to retain it in our minds for longer. Our aim is not confined to raising your scorebook but we primarily work on enriching your knowledge so that your thoughts have more weightage in the practical world. Plus, the students with the help of Vedantu can not only dream of getting into a good college but they can also aim for a dream job. 

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How Does it Work?

Crystals are periodic arrays of atoms, whilst X-rays can be deemed as waves of electromagnetic radiation. Crystal atoms scatter incident X-rays, mainly through interaction with the atoms’ electrons. This occurrence is identified as elastic scattering; the electron is known as the scatterer. A regular array of scatterers presents a constant array of orbicular waves. In the bulk of directions, these waves eliminate each other out through destructive interference; however, they combine constructively in less explicit directions, as defined by Bragg’s law:

2d sinθ = nλ


d is the space between the diffracting planes,

θ (theta) = incident angle, 

n = integer 


λ = beam wavelength 

The particular directions resemble spots on the diffraction pattern called reflections. Consequently, impinging on a regular array of scatterers, the X-ray diffraction patterns emerge from the electromagnetic waves. To form the X-ray diffraction pattern x-rays are used, because their wavelength, λ, is mostly in the same order of magnitude as the spacing, d, between the crystal planes (1-100 angstroms).

Once you are clear with the explanation and analysis, it is time to know about its working. After the theory classes, Vedantu teachers will show it through practical sessions. The teachers at Vedantu guide the student to stay versed with the formulas otherwise it will be hard to learn all the formulas in a single go when exams will come nearer. Therefore, at Vedantu, the syllabus is set in a manner that students get ample time for learning, practicing, revising, and yes clearing doubts. So, students pace your preparation with Vedantu and you are going to make a difference with your mark sheet. Plus, you will be able to get an edge over your peer groups. 

X-Ray Diffraction by Crystals

X-ray diffraction by crystals can be exactly as the visible light is diffracted by a diffraction grating; in other words, we can state that crystals can be used as diffraction gratings for diffraction X-rays. Von Laue first conceived this important concept in 1912, and consequently, it was tested by Freidrich and Knipping. They confirmed that an X-ray beam passing through a single crystal was undoubtedly split up into a set of diffracted beams.

The x-ray diffraction by crystals is the only connection with the direct exploration of the crystals’ interior; that is, in connection with the fixations of the atoms’ position on the crystal lattice, the measurement of the distances between atoms and the associated internal symmetry.

Such a study is suitable because the intensities of diffracted beams and their directions are related to crystals’ atomic arrangements. Thus, measurements of their directions and intensities would present the desired information about crystals. 

X-Ray Diffraction Pattern

An X-ray diffraction pattern is the intensity plot formed when the sample scatters x-rays in question at varying degrees. There is a unique X-Ray pattern for each “phase.” In a mixture, the x-ray diffraction pattern is the addition of patterns of the individual phases. On the other hand, any observed XRD pattern is, in reality, an addition/sum of patterns generated by separate stages within a mix. Data from x-ray diffraction experiments are compared with reference pattern data to understand the phases present in a sample.


Hence, you are certainly going to love the study method introduced by Vedantu. You will get a chance to do a stepwise study where the classes begin with the definition. The emphasis on concept clarity will be ample before moving towards the analysis part. Once the students are clear with the basic concept, the classes progress towards working and pattern of X-Ray Diffraction. Are you impressed with the teaching style of Vedantu and want to join us? It is really smooth with the help of your ID and password. You can either get to us via a website or you can simply come to us through a mobile application. The entire process is quite simple with a few clicks of the mouse. This is all up to your individual choice. So, the Vedantu team is waiting to welcome you!

FAQs on X-Ray Diffraction

1. Describe the important X-Ray Diffraction technique.

The important X-Ray diffraction technique is:

Single-Crystal Crystallography: A high-quality single crystal is raised and set in different introductions in the x-ray beam. Single-crystal measurements usually yield more data than other X-Ray diffraction techniques, but they are also the most challenging. Protein crystallography is an important application of single-crystal diffraction. It is a central technique in modern molecular biology.

Powder Diffraction: This is a technique that uses finely ground powder instead of a mixture of crystallites. Here, the diffraction pattern is formed through concentric rings. This technique is utilized in two complementary ways. One is in the form of a substitute to the single-crystal technique, and the other is for the purpose of identifying phases in mineralogy.

2. What are the steps involved in an X-Ray Diffraction Instrument?

The x-ray diffraction instrumentation is a culmination of different components in a synchronized manner in order to initiate the diffraction. The various steps involved are:

X-rays: The basic component is the x-ray generation instrument. X-rays are generated by different methods such as “X-ray tubes, rotating anode x-ray generator, microfocus tube, and synchrotron.”

Collimation: The x-rays generated by any of the different methods consisting of a range of wavelengths. These varied wavelengths are narrowed down to a thin beam comprising a smaller wavelength spread in a particular direction with collimation. This can be executed with the help of “pinholes or slits, x-ray mirror, crystal monochromator, and multilayer optics.”

Detection: Lastly, the process culminates with the detection of the scattered x-rays. The detection process has evolved over the years, starting with the very basic films, followed by the scintillation detectors and the 2D detector.

3. How is X-Ray diffraction by Crystals explained?

X-ray diffraction by crystals could be similar to the diffraction of visible light that is done through a diffraction grating. In simple words, it can be stated that crystals are used in the form of a diffraction grating for the purpose of diffraction X-rays. With its first test in the year 1912, an X-Ray beam passes via a single crystal. This splits up further in the cluster of diffracted beams. So, this is the process that you can use for explaining  X-Ray diffraction by crystals and gain your know-how for the same.

4. What is the weightage of marks for the chapter X-Ray diffraction? 

X-ray diffraction is crucial for the students of physics. They can expect to earn good marks by gaining complete theoretical knowledge and practicing it on a daily basis. This would be hard to declare the exact marking scheme for this specific chapter. But yes, it surely offers one or two crucial questions for the same. These questions might be based on definitions, explanations, short notes, or comparisons. So, prepare the chapter in a detailed manner and you will be able to gain a good score.

5. Will Vedantu also clear my doubts regarding X-Ray diffraction?

Yes, Vedantu ensures all steps that are helpful for your preparation of a particular subject or topic. We are laced with interactive sessions where students are able to gain the entire know-how of the subject. After this, Vedantu teachers offer a free podium to discuss your queries and also to interact with classmates. After this, the revision session is really useful from the score point of view. This way, Vedantu follows all the crucial steps to make the concepts clear in the mind of students. This helps students to gain knowledge for their future endeavors as well.

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